Biodiversity

Photo: Flickr/Land Rover Our Planet 


Mountains loom large in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. Their unique topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation have created the conditions for a wide spectrum of life forms.  

Half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity. Mountains are home to rare species of plants and animals. These include increasingly rare animals such as gorillas, mountain lions, and the majestic tahr or strikingly beautiful plants such as orchids and lobelias.

A large portion of the world's most precious gene pools (for agriculture and medicine) are preserved in mountains. Crops that are important for food security, such as maize, potatoes, barley, sorghum, tomatoes, beans and apples, have been diversified in mountains and an array of domestic animals - sheep, goats, yaks, llamas and alpacas - have originated or been diversified in mountains. Other crops, such as wheat, rye, rice, oats and grapes, have found new homes in the mountains and evolved into many varieties. Coffee and tea, with their roots in Ethiopia and the Himalayan region, are mountain crops as well. Medicinal plants are one of the most valuable resources from high altitudes. This rich biodiversity holds cultural, ecological and economic value. In the Andes, for example, farmers know of as many as 200 different varieties of indigenous potatoes and, in Nepal, they farm approximately 2 000 varieties of rice.

Climate change, poverty, commercial mining, logging and poaching all exact a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has increasingly been recognized as a global priority. The Convention on Biological Diversity adopted a Programme of Work on Mountain Biological Diversity in 2004, which includes a set of actions and targets addressing characteristics and problems that are specific to mountain ecosystems. 

 

Transnational Working Table 1

Transnational Working Table 1

event

The first of two workshops on the results of projects in mountainous European countries and on the development of the Alps will allow participants to share knowledge and experiences on Alpine Space Projects. The meeting will also discuss WikiAlps, an encyclopaedia-like online platform, and its potential use in policy design...

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High-Altitude Rangelands and their Interfaces in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

High-Altitude Rangelands and their Interfaces in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

publication

This publication, issued on the 30th anniversary of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), contains a collection of papers and scholarly articles by ecologists, natural resource managers, and other professionals working on the high-altitude rangelands of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The interfaces between high-altitude rangelands and other...

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High-Altitude Rangelands and their Interfaces in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

High-Altitude Rangelands and their Interfaces in the Hindu Kush Himalayas

publication

This publication, issued on the 30th anniversary of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), contains a collection of papers and scholarly articles by ecologists, natural resource managers, and other professionals working on the high-altitude rangelands of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The interfaces between high-altitude rangelands and other...

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The World Wilderness Congress (WWC): WILD10-Make the World a Wilder Place

The World Wilderness Congress (WWC): WILD10-Make the World a Wilder Place

event

How can we protect, sustain and restore wild nature while also providing enhanced social and economic opportunities for human society? A full concept paper and specific proposals are available for WILD10 projects under three main streams: PLANET - Nature Needs Half, PROSPERITY - Living With and From Nature...

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University of Central Asia staffer receives government award

University of Central Asia staffer receives government award

peak to peak

Issue 59 - Month 7 - Year 2013

 

 

Our new issue of Peak to Peak reports on the programme officer for the Mountain Partnership in Central Asia receiving recognition from the Kyrgyz government. We also look at new Mountain Partnership members and activities,...

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Mountains: Key Players for Global Sustainable Developement

publication

Mountains: Key Players for Global Sustainable Developement

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